Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. (File images)
Taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Thursday said the Congress leader is making “extraordinary engagements” with farmers and fishermen of Kerala while ignoring the protests happening in New Delhi.
Addressing the press, the Kerala CM said, “Rahul Gandhi is coming to Kerala and making extraordinary engagements. He’s driving a tractor for farmers and swimming in the sea for fish-workers. We thank him for his interest towards Kerala.”
Vijayan continued: “On January 16, a national daily reported that at least 70 people have died in farmer protests. But we are seeing that Rahul Gandhi has ignored the farmer protests in Delhi, which have captured national attention, and is coming to Kerala to show his support for farmers here. In any case, his large-heartedness on this issue is praise-worthy.”
His remarks come days after Gandhi attacked the LDF government in the state, for “favouring its own party workers” when it came to providing jobs.
Speaking at the concluding session of the statewide ‘Aiswarya Kerala Yatra’, the Wayanad MP had said, “In Kerala, the most dynamic state, youngsters are wondering why they can’t get jobs. The Left Front said they will make Kerala perfect. The question is — Perfect for whom? Perfect for the people of Kerala or perfect for the Left organisation? If you are one of their people, every single job is available to you.”
Taking a dig at the government over the gold smuggling case, Gandhi had said, “If you carry their flag, any amount of gold smuggling is allowed. You can sit in the chief minister’s office and do that job. But if you are a young Keralite, then you have to protest, shout and scream to try and get your right.”
Gandhi was alluding to the gold smuggling and money laundering cases in which M Sivasankar, the former principal secretary to the chief minister, is accused of involvement.
With Kerala Assembly elections in sight, Congress-led UDF has also raised allegations against the Left government in the state over an alleged deep sea fishing contract with a US-based company.
In the wake of the controversy, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had directed the officials concerned to cancel the MoU between EMCC, the US-based firm and Kerala State Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC), a public sector undertaking and probe the circumstances under which it was signed.